We got engaged December 30, 2017.
We got married May 11, 2019.
In between these dates was a LONG time.
There was planning, planning, and oh yes, planning.
There was also a new job.
3 weeks later there was another new job.
(I learned I don’t like babies who scream
at the top of their lungs for 8+ hours a day)
7 months after THAT there was ANOTHER new job.
2nd job was a “dream” job for someone whom I actually pursued.
Let’s just say jobs don’t always turn out like you hope
and people also rarely turn out like you hope they will.
Neither do relationships…
This goes for relationships with friends, family, people you work for/with,
romantic relationships… all of it.
In the planning stages of our wedding, I knew exactly what I wanted the day to be.
I always have known every last detail of how I wanted my wedding to be,
but I never thought marriage was in the cards for me.
“I want to build a future with you” turned into
“I lied about everything I told you and you
don’t actually know anything about who I REALLY am”.
“I’ll move to Nashville as soon as I finish school” turned into
“I’m terrified to leave my family behind and be an adult
so maybe we shouldn’t do this anymore unless you want to move back home to NC”
and also “I will never force you into anything you don’t feel ok with”
turned into “I never thought you’d want me to wait for marriage”
and so forth…
So when I met my brand new husband,
I had very low hopes for a casual meeting (from an online dating site, nonetheless)
to progress to anything more.
A few years later, we are married – and very happy – atleast for today!
11 days in, I felt like an old married pro (yea, right!)
and was ready to share my personal experience of wedding planning
in hopes that all the young girls who dream of their own wedding day
can realize the WORK that goes into turning your dreams into reality!
It was important to me to include everyone that mattered most to us
without having 50 people walking down the aisle with us.
Realizing all our friends were already married and many had children,
we realized the difficulty it could present to have traditional bridesmaids and groomsmen.
As a nanny, I see how hard it is for my mommy friends to even have dinner away from their family,
and I didn’t want to add to their stress by asking them to shop for, buy a dress/shoes,
be present for a bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal and so forth.
We got creative and I asked one good friend to come early and just be there
to run and grab things as we needed them, calm our nerves and so forth.
I asked 3 other friends to stand at the program/gift/guest book table.
I asked 2 friends to sing,
and kids I nannied to walk down the aisle 2 by 2 and sit on the front row
(because I recall attending weddings and not being able to see a thing).
We also suggested friends gift us “time, talents and treasures”
instead of only traditional gifts.
My friend who has done my hair since high school did my hair as a gift.
Our previous next door neighbor
(who is the ONLY person I said could touch my wedding dress)
did my alterations as a gift.
One of our friends gifted us an entire weekend of date nights
(in the form of gift cards to a TON of our favorite things,
along with a box of their favorite everyday things.
It was hands down one of the coolest gifts we received!
We also realized many people who are invited to a wedding
do not give a gift of any kind, at all.
One thing I learned was to NOT expect or assume anything, about anyone.
I also learned it is SO FUN to be creative and think/do outside the box!
The day of our wedding was a blur, honestly.
We had to go back and watch our wedding video
(No matter what anyone tells you, ALWAYS pay for a professional to
video your wedding.
I promise you, as a bride you will have no clue
what happens, who is/isn’t there,
and it’s nice to go back and re-watch the whole event
once the craziness has died down)
to recall how everything looked, what we said, etc.
It was FUN!
But, it was also SO much work.
My mom and sister helped me have things created,
thought up ideas, bought items, had things made, and so on
for MONTHS leading up to the wedding.
The week of the wedding my mom helped me enjoy the moments leading up to
the big day,
my sister was in town to help with planning and decorating,
and a lot of our cousins came in early
and jumped in with both feet (and hands!)
making bows for the church pews.
THEN, they went to the church AND to the reception hall
and helped me and my mom decorate for HOURS.
One of my best friends let me borrow her gorgeous dress to change into
for my “reception dress” and also came to my mom’s and helped
decorate AND stayed after the reception to help clean up. All this AND she had
a toddler at the time who rotated between minion and perfect angel (like all toddlers do, haha!)
while managing to ALWAYS look like an angel =)
My cousin who is more like my aunt brought a ZILLION flowers
with her for the wedding.
She spent many phone conversations with me,
a lot of time and a lot of money
helping make my day look and feel exactly how I wanted.
These family members will never know truly how much
I appreciate their help! I hope they at least see this blog! =)
On the day of the wedding, things come up.
You can have every single thing planned out and you will STILL forget
things that seem like “DUH!” items…
A list of things we forgot:
To set out the GF cupcakes
To set out ALL the TONS of GF snacks/food I bought for my GF family/friends
Champagne for our toast
To bring out the alcohol from the fridge to the bar
FOOD TO EAT BEFORE THE WEDDING
(Brides, you will forget to eat.
Have a snack bag packed the day before. I promise you, you’ll need it)
(As I type this out I want to say another huge thank you
to our friends who ran around
for us the day of, buying, delivering and preparing
ALL of the above items we forgot)
Oh, and the ORGANIST who was going to play the pipe organ for the recessional
just DIDN”T SHOW UP on our wedding day.
Thank goodness we have friends who are “instant in and out of season” like the bible says.
Our wedding day was the most beautiful, amazing, fun (SO FUN!) day, ever.
But, things happen and it didn’t go exactly as planned.
So what? It was still better than I ever dreamed.
So now, marriage.
The dreamy fairytale day is over and its just reality.
A few things I learned in the first 11 days…
All this? This life I dreamed of, prayed over, and hoped would happen…
Well, it is work. It is not always simple.
Some days I walk in the door and smother my husband with kisses.
Other days, yes even after just 11 days,
I drug myself inside the house and looked at him like “Why are you here?!”
Some days I’m tired, I’m still getting used to not having my own home
that is just me.
It’s not always easy.
His work is totally different from mine.
I often work 10-12 hour days.
He has a lot of free time,
and drives a lot for his work which means he has a lot of alone time.
He craves social outings.
I crave solitude and quiet.
But we love each other and have a lot in common, as well.
We love to travel, which is one of the biggest and fastest things we appreciate in each other.
I can throw any place, any date, any travel plans at him and he’s almost always up for it.
He supports my crazy notions, my talkative ways, and my childlike tendencies to laugh at everything, tell the stupidest jokes and squeal at everything that excites me.
I support (tolerate, haha!) his sometimes sailor mouth, and I applaud his desires to always have plans on the weekends. We are each other’s yin and yang.
He makes me want to try harder at everything I do.
He brings out the best of me, everyday (and sometimes the worst in me!) and he is my very best friend.
He is who I laugh loudest and in reckless abandon with.
He is who I called first when I got the job I (thought I) always wanted.
He is who I also vented to when that job ended.
This thing called life?
It is not a given. It is a gift.
A very rare and delicate gift is our love for each other.
I have learned in our seven+ years together to nurture that gift.
To treat it like a flower garden…
water it when it gets hot,
allow it to breathe when it is cool and has been plowed.
We took the relationship and ran with it.
We never had to work at it; it was super easy in the beginning.
To every thing there is a season…
sometimes its a season of growth, blooming and roots digging deeper.
Other times its a season of drought,
when you work hard, tilling the fields,
walking in the door sweaty and exhausted,
turning the ground and preparing for the season you know will come again
when growth and life returns.
I learned there are no rules.
We make our own rules as we go.
What works for one couple
won’t work for us.
What makes one couple stronger would break us.
What made another couple walk away from the relationship they shared
makes us cling to each other even more tightly.
We walk through this mess we call life, hand in hand (and sometimes back to back when we don’t want to look at each other, but we are still together).
I like to think of our marriage and relationship like bowling…
sometimes you knock all the pins over and it looks like a mess from where you’re standing
but when you give it a minute,
they are pulled back up straight and are perfect, once again.
When you are first learning to bowl, you use the bumpers;
they help keep you centered.
When you learn what you’re doing, you no longer need the bumpers.
We said “I do”.
Now we live out the vows we wrote for each other from our hearts
and we live them out, everyday.
For better, or worse.
“We were together. I forget the rest” ~Walt Whitman